From Clicks to Savings: How the Amazon Business Integration into SAP Solutions Changes Procurement
The procurement landscape is experiencing a profound shift driven by digital transformation and innovative collaborations. As businesses strive for operational excellence and cost optimization, integrating Amazon Business into SAP solutions could be a groundbreaking development. This collaboration combines the product catalog of Amazon Business with the procurement capabilities of SAP Ariba and SAP ERP, offering a more streamlined procurement experience for businesses. From improved access to suppliers to enhanced data analytics, organizations could profit from various potential benefits of this integration. The IT consulting firm CNT Management Consulting examines the impact of Amazon Business integration via SAP solutions, highlighting the benefits, requirements, and challenges companies should know about before implementing this solution.
Atlanta; June 19, 2023. With 80 of the Fortune 100 businesses and more than five million business customers across industries worldwide already using Amazon Business, it is safe to say that it is more than just a trend. SAP did not want to deprive its customers of this innovation: in 2022, the software company offered to use the integrated search tool of Amazon Business directly in its procurement solutions. Alexander Paulus, Managing Director of CNT Management Consulting in Atlanta, explains: “Procurement professionals who use guided buying can now browse, compare prices, and place orders seamlessly, without the need to switch between multiple systems.” Now, Amazon Business integrates with SAP ERP and SAP Ariba as a punchout catalog – a solution that enables authorized users across the organization to make purchases from Amazon or 3rd party Amazon sellers seamlessly within their own procurement application - alongside other direct sellers and online stores, all inside the same interface. Additionally, Single Sign-On enables a more streamlined user experience and account management.
Seamless Procurement and Enhanced Control
After establishing its dominance in the B2C marketplace across North America and Europe, Amazon has expanded its operations into business-to-business e-commerce, launching Amazon Business, which replaced AmazonSupply, in 2015. Since then, its sales numbers are constantly increasing, and more and more companies rely on its services. By integrating Amazon Business into SAP procurement solutions, Ariba buyers not only have a simplified and seamless procurement experience but also increase visibility into spend. Furthermore, the integration helps organizations enforce procurement policies and maintain control over the purchasing process. “The integration drives compliance with approval workflows, buying policies, and invoice reconciliation”, Paulus adds. Considering the ever-rising importance of Corporate Social Responsibility, Amazon Business can guide buyers to preferred products and sellers to drive sustainability initiatives and responsible purchasing. Finally, it can help optimize costs: “Incorporating Amazon Business into their system can facilitate businesses make informed decisions by providing real-time visibility into pricing, availability, and product details”, CNT director Paulus illustrates.
Strategic Considerations for Consistent Integration
However, companies must evaluate a few essential aspects before integrating Amazon Business into their SAP system. First, companies should ask themselves if they will integrate with SAP Ariba, SAP ERP, or both; and how many users will buy on Amazon Business. “Since Amazon Business operates in several markets outside the US, organizations also have to think about the countries they will be buying Amazon Business for”, says Paulus. More critical questions regard the form of payment, where companies need to consider establishing a line of credit with Amazon Business, and if they want to leverage Single Sign-On. Additionally, Paulus emphasizes the importance of data synchronization: “Ensuring accurate and up-to-date catalog synchronization between systems is crucial for maintaining consistency and avoiding discrepancies in product information, pricing, and availability.”
Navigating Integration Challenges
Integrating Amazon Business into SAP solutions may also present configuration and technical challenges. “As with any integration project, careful planning and execution are key to managing potential complexities”, argues Paulus. Companies must consider system compatibility, customization requirements, and potential disruptions during implementation. Change management is another critical aspect, as employees may need training and support to adapt to the integrated solution. Furthermore, organizations should prioritize data security and privacy, implementing robust security measures to protect sensitive procurement information and ensure compliance with data regulations. During the integration process, Amazon assigns a customer advisor to every account. Nevertheless, working with an Amazon Business preferred partner like CNT Management Consulting can fast-track your return on investment (ROI). “We help our clients achieve a streamlined integration process, expedited onboarding, and minimized dependencies”, describes Paulus.
About CNT Management Consulting GmbH
CNT Management Consulting Inc. is a multi-award-winning international consulting firm with a focus on digitalization. For more than 20 years, CNT has been supporting companies from various sectors in the development and implementation of SAP solutions. From eleven locations, such as Atlanta and Vienna, the service provider supports more than 250 customers worldwide.